America; the land of the free, the home of the brave and the Nation of gun-toting patriots. With the rate of gun-related tragedies steadily rising over the past thirty years; stricter gun regulations are a consistently heated debate. We all know the debate. The leftists claim that stricter gun regulations would mean less shootings and the republicans throw the second amendment in the face of any contenders.
Aside from the fact that the right to bear arms is a fundamental part of the United States Constitution; why do Americans love guns so much?
The primary purpose for owning and loving guns in America (at least to this Upstate New Yorker) is obviously to hunt. Hunting was the Native Americans and Pilgrims’ primary method of feeding themselves. Over time, hunting has become a favored passed time and family tradition for many Americans. Hunting connects to an emotion of bonding with family and friends, being taught tips and tricks by the elders and perhaps passing down that beautiful rifle with great-grampa’s name engraved in the stock. To take these Americans’ gun rights or infringe upon them is to steal treasured memories and family heirlooms.
Not That Many Americans Are Hunting
Yet, according to the 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated
Recreation only 5% of the United States population (11.5 million people aged 16 or older) went hunting in 2016. Still, America has roughly three hundred million guns out there (that we are aware of). This is the highest guns per capita in the world;more than enough for every man, woman and child.
Some Americans REALLY Love Guns
Perhaps the discrepancy can be accounted for by the fact that about 5% of Americans own half of all of America’s guns.
Gun retailers claim that most Americans buy guns either because they are afraid that the government will take them away (the stockpilers) or they are afraid for their life. In 2013 gun manufacturing doubled from its numbers in 2010 because of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The day after the Las Vegas shooting, gun purchases and stocks skyrocketed.
Why Buy Guns After a Mass Shooting?
According to psychologists, mass shootings cause Americans to have an emotional (and irrational) response. Almost every time; Americans buy more guns and invest in gun production because they think the guns will help protect them and or the threat of stricter gun regulations causes fear that they won’t be able to purchase guns in the future. Either way, the reaction is fear based.
Other Reasons to Buy Guns
Crime victims and victims of domestic violence often feel safer by purchasing guns. Psychologically, people who are insecure may feel more powerful by owning a gun. American society and television almost glamourize gun ownership. There are also the mentally disturbed people who buy guns to threaten, rob and harm people.
And, some people just like collecting guns like coins.
The Problem With Guns For Protection
Unfortunately, purchasing a gun for protection in an otherwise gunless house increases the chances of accidental triggers, suicides and domestic violence-related deaths. People who buy guns for protection, often, do not really know how to properly use and handle them. It would seem that, perhaps, Americans are a bit convoluted in thinking that the answer to the fear of being shot is having the ability to shoot too.